Fall in love with the ‘Taste of Thai’

Millennium Post - - AROUND TOWN - SHREYA DAS

In my en­tire life, I would have never tried a raw pa­paya salad just by the sound of it. But my re­cent visit to the Blooms restau­rant in Eros Ho­tel, Nehru Place com­pletely flipped around my per­spec­tive. Now, if you just take some raw pa­paya, and mix it with some cab­bage, sprouts, and some dress­ing of your choice – it would cer­tainly not please your palate. But a Thai pa­paya salad, with roasted peanuts, car­rots and long lean in a chilli (lemon dress­ing) is no less than a mir­a­cle for a salad; it is sweet, with a slight tangi­ness to it and makes for a per­fect juicy starter to a dry sum­mer evening.

If you fancy non-veg­e­tar­ian food, go for ‘Larb Gai’ or the Thai minced chicken salad with roasted sticky rice and peanuts. The chefs at Blooms make sure that each and ev­ery in­gre­di­ent is fresh, and I think, that’s the main rea­son why ev­ery­thing tastes so juicy, ten­der and re­fresh­ing.

All this is hap­pen­ing at the Eros Ho­tel, Nehru Place, New Delhi, which is host­ing a culi­nary jour­ney of Thai cui­sine, under the ban­ner, “Taste of Thai”, un­til April 28. The fes­ti­val cel­e­brates the cul­tural her­itage and tra­di­tional cus­toms of Thai­land that boasts of a rich past. Hence, as a trib­ute to its his­tor­i­cal glory, the fes­ti­val of­fers truly au­then­tic Thai recipes per­fected with

colour, tex­ture and the bal­ance of five flavours – sour, sweet, salty, bit­ter and umami.

Af­ter hav­ing a re­fresh­ing salad with some chilled wine, I went ahead to get some skew­ered del­i­ca­cies from the grill counter. Look­ing at the plethora of choices in veg­e­tar­ian and non­veg­e­tar­ian food, the con­fu­sion be­comes ob­vi­ous. In veg­e­tar­ian, there is fresh Zuc­chini, pineap­ple and cherry tomato, cot­tage cheese and bell pep­per, mush­room and cau­li­flower, fried tofu with potato, ap­ple and Pineap­ple, and lastly, broc­coli with mush­room. Whereas in non-veg­e­tar­ian (my per­sonal favourite), they have chicken, prawn and lamb satay mar­i­nated with lemon­grass, galan­gal, light soya sauce milk, salt, and turmeric pow­der. What gives these sa­tays their real flavour are the sauces – peanut sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and Thai chilli dress­ing. They are so sweet and de­li­cious, that you won’t even need any­thing else to fin­ish it with.

Apart from the satay, you can also go for some corn cakes, veg­etable spring rolls, crispy won­ton, and fish cake at the fry counter but I doubt that these would make you drool as much as the fa­mous Thai cur­ries.

Served in three dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions, colour and taste, these cur­ries are the real deal at the ‘Taste of Thai’ fes­ti­val. It could be ei­ther yel­low curry – with a se­lec­tion of veg­eta­bles, co­conut pow­der, palm sugar, kafir lime and salt; red curry – with minced chicken, or the sweet and sour prawn with green crisp Thai basil curry.

Served with jas­mine rice or Padthai noo­dle, these cur­ries just smoothly goes down the throat and leaves a sweet tin­gling sen­sa­tion in your mouth. Even if you have a full bowl of these cur­ries, you would ask for more un­til your stom­ach bloats of all the over-eat­ing. These cur­ries will make you fall in love with Thai­land and its food and you could just imag­ine your­self saun­ter­ing around the lanes of Thai­land with the smell of fresh curry be­ing pre­pared for din­ner. No wonder peo­ple all over the world love Thai cur­ries.

As far as the desserts are con­cerned, Thai desserts can­not match the In­dian palate for sweet­ness.

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